Safety Fast November 2016

I am pleased to get material from members which could be off assistance to everyone. The following is a case in point which I have, in fact, copied to Graham Dix to be included on the forum. It still bears publication here. It has been sent in by Richard Searle.

My ‘79 BGT failed its MOT due to the rear brake cylinders sticking. They seemed OK during the pre MOT checks but I think the force applied during the testing must have pushed the pistons out further than usual, which due to the tiniest amount of surface rust on the ends of the pistons (not enough MGB’ing due to my other hobby ..triathlon) resulted in them sticking during the test. I brought two replacement cylinders (GWC1122 Z) the same day from a local supplier but I couldn’t get the brake pipe unions to fit (so much so that I was convinced I had been supplied the wrong ones). The supplier was at a loss (a UNF male fitting suggested there wasn’t a problem), eventually suggesting I file the end of brake pipe’s UNF nut as it may have splayed (…umm?). Back home, and still with no joy with the replacement cylinders, the wheels were refitted and the MGB GT rolled back into the garage.

A closer examination of the parts confirmed that the OEM (faulty) ones had a chamfer around the hydraulic connection, but the replacements ones did not. I was confident that this was the issue as it’s not the first set I’ve replaced on the MG and I’ve never had a problem before, so I plugged the hole (blu tac has more uses than you think) in each of the new cylinders to avoid metal filings entering the cylinder’s bore and chamfered each using a 12mm drill bit … not pretty I’d admit, but I don’t have a pillar drill just a drill stand … but the chamfering did the job and I’m back up and running. I’m not sure if this issue only applies to copy parts fitted after a certain year of MGB GT manufacture, but hopefully it will help someone? Obviously, if you have time to shop around purchase OEM, or copy parts with a chamfer. If you can only get copy parts without a chamfer this modification will work for you.

I have just found out that Tailgating is now an offence carrying a £100 on the spot fine and three penalty points – if the police are there to enforce it…

There is the possibility that vehicles over 30 years old will be exempt from MOT testing. Apparently the nature of the MOT test is changing to reflect more accurately the cars now coming onto the roads and that this new test would not be appropriate for our “classic” vehicles. I do not have more detail currently but watch this space.

By the time these notes are published the MGB Register Weekend in Yorkshire will be a Happy memory and what an excellent weekend it was. Congratulations to Geoff and Carol Edwards for the organisation, the hotel was very welcoming and comfortable and the friendliness of the natives was as is expected in Yorkshire. I drove 1100 miles from our home in West Cornwall, the events on the Saturday and the Sunday and the return trip which I completed in one nine hour go. We had broken our outward journey with longstanding friends south of Birmingham. I feel that I must comment on the two motorway journeys. The conduct of a significant percentage of drivers is now appalling, tailgating, aggressive, behaviour and a disregard for speed limits that is worrying. During the entire 1100 miles I saw no evidence of proactive policing. Cameras may, briefly, contain speeds but cannot influence behaviour. This reinforces my opinion that I need a lot of persuasion to get me to drive east of Truro. OK, we have our share of idiocy down here- there just aren’t quite as many of them. On a positive note my B used 24 gallons of 97 octane fuel and half a pint of oil.

Mike Newman was kind enough to do the write up of the event, and here it is….

The MGB Register Weekend

I rolled the MGB out of the garage into the autumn rain for the final preparations for the journey to the Yorkshire Dales. Six hours later with the joys of the M6 behind us we arrived at the Coniston Hotel and Country Estate on the edge of the Dales six miles outside Skipton.

The hotel had arranged a separate parking area for us and by late afternoon 22 MGB’s had arrived, one making the long journey from Germany. After dinner on the first night we were given a taster of the wonderful scenery and type of roads we would encounter over the next two days by a Yorkshire man, Jack Tinker, from MGCC North Yorkshire. We also had a short talk by the 4×4 off roaddriving experience team who were based in the grounds of the Country Estate. A number of people took up the offer for a demonstration ride around the course the next morning.

The weather had changed to bright sunshine at the start of our Saturday route, this took us through some spectacular scenery, we had a welcome coffee break at the Craven Arms at Appletreewick which is a 16 Century Public House. with its recently built Cruck Barn, the first one to be built for 400 years.

Craven Arms Sign

We continued our route through more charming villages and passing the Gouthwaite Reservoir beyond Fearby, where you could if you wish make a small detour to the Theakston’s Brewery Tap and Gift Shop. For lunch we stopped at Leyburn at the Tennants Auction House with its Garden Room Café. The afternoon was just as spectacular as the morning, just mind
the cyclists that were around every corner, since the Tour de France went through this area in 2014. A break in the route at the Wensleydale Creamery at Hawes was a great welcome, we now continued our route passing the impressive Ribblehead Viaduct, which was opened on August 3 1875, then on to Settle and back to the hotel to refresh ourselves ready to meet up
with everyone for dinner.

The second day of our weekend started with a heavy mist covering. One of the members of the North Yorkshire MGCC confirmed that the mist was confined to the local area and the weather, only a mile away, was sunshine.

Several cars from the North Yorkshire MGCC joined us for the Sunday route, again we drove through many interesting places and viewed wonderful scenery which included Malham Cove with its spectacular limestone formation. The route continued passed Aysgarth Falls then on to the Carperby where the real James Herriot and wife spent their honeymoon. A few miles further on Castle Bolton came into view, which was built in the 14 century. The roads now get a bit more challenging with hairpin bends going up hill and down hill into the village of Kettlewell, which was used for some of the settings for the “Calendar Girls”. The route now takes us pass Kilnsey Crag, popular with rock climbers, then on to final stages of a scenic drive back to the hotel.

The final evening a number of members form North Yorkshire MGCC joined us for dinner. Accompanied by a pianist lively chatter filled the air with people exchanging their tales of the last two days. A raffle was held with 30 prizes to be won to raise funds for MGB UMD 534F this was ably co-ordinated by Roger Boys. A good evening and weekend was had by all, and already people were talking about next year’s event in Lincolnshire. This will take place on the weekend of September 15-17 2017. The hotel is the Best Western Kenwick Park Hotel near Louth, Lincolnshire.

A big thank you to The Coniston Hotel & Country Estate for their fine service and food and also to Geoff Edwards and his team for a super weekend.

Mike Newman


The Register have been working with the staff of British Motor Heritage at Witney to lay on an event for this year. There are limited numbers, so you need to be quick to reserve your place.

The agenda for the day will be:
09.00 – Arrival and coffee in board room
09.30 – Welcome and introductions
10.00 – Workshops:

Restoration – Richard Chapman of Manor Garage MG Specialists (45mins) – This will be centred on an MGB GT body shell pre-restoration. Richard will go through how he would restore the shell and demonstrate how the various panels form the structure of the car. You will be able to identify all the areas of rust on an MGB and how they can be restored.

Welding – Graham Dix (45mins) – This will involve a demo of the most common welding technique for body restoration and an opportunity for you to practice your welding technique.
Panel work – BMH Staff (45mins) – This will involve a demonstration of how a body panel is prepared in respect of panel beating and finishing after pressing.

12.30 – Lunch
1.30pm – Lecture in board room.
This will be a talk on MX5 Gearboxs for MGBs or Mintex Brakes (to be confirmed)
2.30pm – Closure